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Juvenile court proceedings often wasteful

Editor: After recently having the opportunity to attend several juvenile court proceedings in Hernando County, I was struck by the obvious waste of time, taxpayers' money and judicial energy that characterize the handling of underage delinquents.

Since it seems that such hearings are for the sole purpose of rubber-stamping the already-made decisions of the state Department of Juvenile Justice, generated by a group of probably well-meaning, but generally misinformed, people (not to mention practicality), I am saddened with the burden placed on those judges when they could be much more effective relieving the adult courts of the present backlog of cases.

It appears to my untrained eye that the DJJ and its cohorts of peripheral agencies are in need of customers, and they will do everything possible to snare any unsuspecting (read: not properly defended) poor soul who happens to run afoul of any laws, school rules, the Department of Children and Family Service's arcane mentality, law enforcement personnel's personal agendas, etc.

We shouldn't forget that all the children being corrected now will soon be shaping the future all of us are bound to be complaining about when the fruits of the present inquisitionlike attitude come to bear.

Finally, how appropriate is it for prosecutors to sit next to the judge in DJJ hearings, when in adult court we normally see them on the same level as the defendant as to suggest equality in importance before the law?

Carlos Galigniana

Spring Hill

Bus driver was right

in disciplining student

Editor: Re: School bus driver isn't charged, Jan. 28 news article:

He should not be charged. Any actions by a student in a school bus causing a disruption that can distract the driver not only puts all the students in jeopardy, but also other nearby vehicles.

The bus driver was doing his job properly. Students must be taught to follow school rules. Parents should help with this. The rule to do as you are told is so very basic, not just in school, but in all walks of life. That is how our society works. Where would our country be if the men and women in our armed forces hadn't learned to obey that simple requirement?

Maybe the boy needs to have his mother bring him to school each day until he gets the message. This incident provides more reason to stress the school program that continues to teach character education.

I feel sure our society would benefit if school bus drivers and all other school employees, during their regular working day, were instructed to stress proper behavior.

Ken Brownlow

Spring Hill

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